According to the Chinese, the universe, humanity and nature are greatly influenced by qi. They believe that the universe and everything in it is derived from qi, that it permeates all matter, and regards it as the essential life-force of all living things.

 ‘Qi’ literally means air, breath, energy, vapour, gas. Philosophically it can be defined as intrinsic energy, biophysical energy or the life-force. ‘Gong’ is achievement or results. The two words (qigong) are combined to describe systems and methods of “energy cultivation” and the manipulation of intrinsic energy within living organisms.

The Chinese view qi as an invisible energy force which circulates throughout the body to give life. They believe that we are born with a fixed amount of this vital energy, prenatal chi, which is stored in the tan tien (a psychic energy centre, located three finger widths below the navel). This energy is gradually depleted throughout life, but it is also augmented by energy obtained from food and air, postnatal qi.

The energy or qi is circulated throughout the body along the various meridians. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, these are the paths along which blood and energy are transported to the organs in an intricate pattern of energy flow circuits.

Qi is activated and directed by the mind an is responsible for the movements of the body. In order for qi to be effective, it must first be cultivated, and secondly exercised, so that the body and mind become one with the universe. The various meditation exercises of Qigong, aided by the process of respiration, help you to achieve this.

Our personal qi is inseparable from the qi of the universe, and continually interchanges with it. This reciprocal flowing back and forth is the essence of life. When the flow of qi is strong, we are healthy. If the flow is blocked in any area, we become ill. Death occurs when the flow of qi stops completely.

The complete renewal of qi takes place during deep relaxation (such as during sleep, however, an even deeper state of relaxation is achieved during meditation).Qi of the universe is received by the brain during the period of profound relaxation, when the pattern of the electrical waves continually given off  by the brain become regular.

In Qigong, the postnatal qi is lowered to the tan tien, thus lowering one’s centre of gravity and establishing a more balanced position. The mind and body become peaceful and tranquil, and all movements become graceful and harmonious. To cultivate consciously the transformation of food and air, by the mind, into qi, and to influence consciously the movement of qi in the body is the ability Qigong will give to you.

Eveyone has qi power, though it is not developed to the same degree in every individual. Just as we know of the presence of the subconscious mind, so too should we all be aware of the power of qi.

Meridian Theory

Fundamental to Chinese philosophy is the concept of energy or qi. Your own vital energy, qi, is conducted through the body in channels or pathways called meridians. These are not blood or nerve systems. Rather they make up an invisible network that links together the fundamental substances, (chi, blood and fluids) and organs. They connect the interior of the body to the exterior.

The meridian system is made up of twelve regular meridians that correspond to each of the five yin and six yang organs and to the pericardium (the outer muscle of the heart). There are two other major meridians, the governing vessel, the du mai, and the conception vessel, the ren mai.

The governing vessel is the central control meridian which governs the yang organs. It begins at the hui yin point (base chakra), runs up the spine to the bai hui point (crown chakra) and terminates at the upper palate. The conception vessel governs the yin organs. It runs up the front of the body form the hui yin to the chin.

The yin organs include the heart, lungs, liver, spleen and pericardium. The yang organs include the stomach, gall bladder, bladder, small and large intestines. The kidneys are both yin and yang.

Who Can Benefit?

Qigong is a form of complementary medicine. It works well with other forms of therapy and should never be used as a substitute for necessary treatment by a physician.

In a healthy body, qi flows harmoniously through the meridians with a correct balance of yin and yang. If, for any reason (such as stress), this flow is blocked, the balance is upset and illness results.

The exercises of Qigong treat the whole body, not just the individual parts (although some exercises may have more benefit for certain areas than others). The body and mind are regarded as an integrated unity and any imbalance of energy affects the whole.

Qigong functions to encourage the flow of qi throughout the body and thus maintain balance. As the Qigong exercises release tension from various parts of the body, the channels are re-opened and the flow of qi is re-established. To the Chinese this free-flowing movement of qi is regarded as a necessary condition for life.

Switch To Desktop Version